Though 96 percent of undergraduate students at NAU have tuition rates that will remain the same because of the Pledge Program, incoming students will pay a higher tuition rate, after the Arizona Board of Regents approved changes in tuition and fees for the state’s three universities.

The rate changes were unanimously approved Monday after state lawmakers cut the state’s universities by nearly $100 million in March.

Regent LuAnn Leonard called the tuition-setting process difficult. “We asked the university presidents to do three things: maintain quality, keep true to their strategic goals and provide us with a plan that would have the least impact on students as possible,” Leonard said.

During Monday’s meeting, board chair Mark Killian thanked the 60 students who participated in the statewide tuition hearing in April as well as the student leaders who provided input during the process.

Incoming students on the NAU Pledge Program, where tuition is set for a four-year period, will pay a base rate of $9,462. With mandatory fees, the amount will be $10,358 for the upcoming school year.

Graduate students will have an increase of 4.8 percent for residents and 4.9 percent for nonresidents.

Regents also approved NAU’s mandatory $1 increase per credit hour for internet technology.

Rates for NAU’s Personalized Learning Division, an online degree completion program, will remain the same at $2,500 for a six-month period.

Regent Rick Myers called the increases a best compromise as he asked state lawmakers to address their methods of subsidizing higher education. “No one is doing this with smiles on our faces,” said Myers, referring to universities’ tuition and fee increases.